I preached the following sermon on Luke 2:41-52, “My Father’s Business,” on December 30, 2018, at Cannon United Methodist in Snellville, Georgia. In the sermon I voice agreement with commentators who believe that during this Passover festival, Jesus’ heavenly Father revealed to him the means by which he would save the world from sin: the cross. I argue that Passover is a sign that points to Jesus, the “true Passover Lamb.” Finally, I invite the church, whose mission is the same as Jesus, to also “be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 KJV) in 2019.
I preached from an outline, so I don’t have a manuscript. But I’ve transcribed a few minutes of the sermon below. It reflects my conviction, about which I’ve blogged recently, that God intends for us to enjoy him, indeed to be happy in him. Radical thought, I know, but for some reason I didn’t discover this truth until the last few years! John Piper’s maxim applies here: “God is most satisfied in us when we are most satisfied in him.” Enjoy!
Jesus’ Father’s business is also our Father’s business. So shouldn’t we also be about our Father’s business? In 2019, when you think about your New Year’s resolutions, will you resolve to be about our Father’s business? But the moment I say this, I am aware that this sounds like a lot of work. Right? “Ugh! One more thing I have to do. And here’s Pastor Brent telling us we need to work harder, we need to try harder, we need to do better.”
But I promise you I’m not inviting you or me to work harder in 2019. I’m inviting you to enjoy a relationship in 2019! I’m inviting you to receive one blessing after another! I’m inviting you to partake of this abundant life that our Lord Jesus freely makes available to you! I’m inviting you to drink of that living water that springs up within us to eternal life! I’m inviting you to find your heart’s deepest satisfaction in Jesus the Bread of Life—he makes that available to us. I’m inviting you to enjoy life in 2019 more than you’ve ever enjoyed it before!
But here’s the difficult and somewhat uncomfortable truth: We don’t know how to do that… we don’t know how to enjoy life. We usually make ourselves miserable in the attempt. But you know who does? Our Lord Jesus! He wants us to enjoy life… by glorifying him… by loving him. It sounds like work but it’s not. One pastor says that living a Christian life is not a “help wanted sign.” Rather, living a Christian life is a “help offered” sign. Our Lord wants to give us an abundant life; he wants to give us a better life. It’s just that the only way to receive it is by being about our Father’s business.
And we know from scripture that that does not imply an easy life. In fact it was very difficult for Joseph and Mary in today’s scripture—wouldn’t you say?